Fans of Indian cinema have a lot to be excited about: the Toronto International Film Festival announced that two Indian films will have Gala premieres at this year’s festival.
We were at the TIFF press conference Tuesday morning, where festival directors announced that Ritesh Batra’s The Lunchbox and Maneesh Sharma’s Shuddh Desi Romance, will receive gala premieres, red carpet and all.
Written and directed by Ritesh Batra, The Lunchbox is a heartwarming drama that follows the virtual relationship of two strangers, Ila and Saajan, who are brought together after a lunchbox delivery mix-up. What evolves is an unexpected friendship that could jeopardize both of their realities. The film stars Irrfan Khan, who is no stranger to North American audiences, having starred in Life of Pi and Slumdog Millionaire. Nimrat Kaur (Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana) and Nawazuddin Siddiqui (Talaash, Gangs of Wasseypur) round out the cast.
The Lunchbox starring IrrfanKhan (above) will have its North American premiere at TIFF.
The Lunchbox is Batra’s feature film directorial debut and was a standout out at the Cannes Film Festival, this year where it won the Grand Rail d’Or at Critics’ Week. The Lunchbox is a co-production between India, France and Germany and the film’s North American rights have already been picked up by Sony Pictures Classics. Anurag Kashyap (Gangs of Wasseypur, Ugly), who is no stranger to TIFF, is one of the film’s producers.
Also scheduled as a Gala presentation is Yash Raj Films’ Shuddh Desi Romance, a romantic comedy that provides a candid look at the affairs of the heart in today’s desi heartland. Directed by Maneesh Sharma (Band Baaja Baaraat), the film stars Sushant Singh Rajput (Kai Po Che!), Parineeti Chopra, Rishi Kapoor and Vaani Kapoor.
The 38th Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 5 to 15, 2013.
Photography: Yash Raj Films, variety.com, movieweb.com and buzzintown.com